Mar del Plata Film Fest Unveils Full Lineup

Courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival
Pablo Agüero's 'Eva Doesn't Sleep'

The program includes LatAm Oscar bids, uncensored Hollywood classics, and newly restored versions of 'Birth of a Nation' and Richard Wright's 'Native Son'.

The only A class festival in Latin America, Mar del Plata announced its main competition line up and special programs Wednesday night in a press conference held in Buenos Aires, led by festival president and veteran filmmaker Jose Martinez Suárez, artistic director Fernando Martin Peña, and Lucrecia Cardoso, head of the country's Film Institute (INCAA).

Main entries in the festival's international and LatAm competitions include Mexico, Colombia and Chile's Oscar bids (Gabriel Ripstein's 600 miles, Ciro Guerra's Embrace of the Serpent and Pablo Larrain's The Club, respectively), Federico Veiroj's San Sebastian winner The Apostate, Venezuela's Golden Lion winner at Venice From Afar, and Pablo Agüero's Eva Doesn't Sleep, a dream-like take on the fate of Eva Peron's cadaver after it was kidnapped and hidden in the 1950s, starring Gael Garcia Bernal.

Mar del Plata's guest list includes Hong Kong's action kingpin Johnnie To, who will be presenting its musical Office, France's Arnaud Desplechin (The Golden Days), and US cult director Trent Harris (Beaver Trilogy, recently featured in the Sundance doc Beaver Trilogy Part IV), as well as international distributors, producers and sales agents attending the festival's new co-production meeting LoboLab.

With film historian Fernando Martin Peña returning to the driver seat for the festival's 30th anniversary, Mar del Plata's 380 films program draws heavily from the past, with a world premiere of the definitive restoration of David W. Griffith's landmark Birth of a Nation, and a new 35mm print of Native Son, the adaptation of Richard Wright's classic 1940 novel, which was shot in Argentina under director Pierre Chenal,  featuring the author himself in the role of Bigger Thomas. At the time of its release in the US, the film was partially censored, causing the near absolute disappearance of its complete version, which only survived in a single and fragile 16mm print.

Hollywood censorship in the 1940s will also be the focus of the Pre-Hays Hollywood section, which will screen films from directors such as Michael Curtiz, Raoul Walsh and George Cukor, made during a short period (1929 to 1934) during which US film production was freed from the studios' self-imposed censorship following the so-called Production Code established by 1930s US Postmaster General Will H. Hays.

The Mar del Plata International Film Festival runs Oct. 30 – Nov. 9.

The competitions line up is listed below.

International Competition

Eva Doesn't Sleep (Argentina / France / Spain) - Pablo Agüero
Incident Life (Argentina / Uruguay / France) - Ariel Rotter 
Popular Mechanics (Argentina) - Alejandro Agresti 
Remember (Canada) - Atom Egoyan 
The Club (Chile) - Pablo Larraín 
Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia / Venezuela / Argentina) - Ciro Guerra 
Koza (Slovakia / Czech Republic) - Ivan Ostrochovský 
The Apostate (Spain / France / Uruguay) - Federico Veiroj 
O futebol (Spain) - Sergio Oksman 
The Island of Wind (Spain) - Manuel Menchón Romero 
Tangerine (USA) - Sean Baker
The Measure of a Man (France) - Stéphane Brizé

Latin American competition

Samuray-S (Argentina) - Raúl Perrone
Campo Grande (Brazil / France) - Sandra Kogut
Beyond My Grandfather Allende (Chile / Mexico) - Marcia Tambutti Allende 
The Monument Hunter (Chile) - Jerónimo Rodríguez 
600 miles (Mexico) - Gabriel Ripstein 
What We Never Said (Mexico / Argentina) - Sebastián Sánchez Amunátegui 
Evilness (Mexico) - Joshua Gil 
Santa Teresa & Other Stories (Mexico / Dominican Republic / USA) - Nelson Carlo de los Santos Arias 
I Promise You Anarchy (Mexico / Germany) - Julio Hernández Cordón 
Suspended Time (Mexico) - Natalia Bruschtein 
From Afar (Venezuela / Mexico) - Lorenzo Vigas

Argentine competition

The Spider's Lullaby (Argentina) - José Celestino Campusano 
Road to La Paz (Argentina / Netherlands / Germany / Qatar) - Francisco Varone 
How Most Things Work (Argentina) - Fernando Salem 
Docile Bodies (Argentina) - Matías Scarvaci and Diego Gachassin
Easy Ball (Argentina) - Juan Fernández Gebauer and Nicolás Suárez
Hortensia (Argentina) - Diego Lublinsky and Alvaro Urtizberea
Kryptonite (Argentina) - Nicanor Loreti 
El Movimiento (Argentina / South Korea) - Benjamin Naishtat 
Paula (Argentina / Spain) - Eugenio Canevari 
Pequeño diccionario ilustrado de la electricidad (Argentina) - Carolina Rimini and Gustavo Galuppo
The Football Boys (Argentina) - Jorge Leandro Colás 
Our Last Tango (Argentina / Germany) - Germán Kral

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